As we reported this morning, a group of armed ‘militiamen’ have broken into and occupied a federal building as part of a protest against the prosecution of two ranchers.
They’ve seized a remote building that houses the offices of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, down in the rural south east of Oregon.
Now people are taking to Twitter to ask why a group of heavily armed white men are considered ‘militiamen’, and not terrorists – lets be honest, if a group of Muslims had occupied a federal building the army would currently be storming it.
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) January 3, 2016
— TariqTouré طارق تورى (@TariqToure) January 3, 2016
An armed group of people taking over a federal building is called what? TERRORISM. Unless you're white, apparently. #OregonUnderAttack
— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) January 3, 2016
What's the difference between a terrorist cell and a militia? Religion and skin colour, apparently.#OregonUnderAttack
— Brian G. Rice (@bgrice) January 3, 2016
Is this #OregonUnderAttack situation really happening? What country allows armed militia to take over Govt buildings & not call it terrorism
— ÇJSiłk あ (@CJSilk) January 3, 2016
People also wondered how the authorities might have reacted if the perpetrators were black.
— Floyd (@FloydXXI) January 3, 2016
Did I miss the call for the national guard in Oregon? I recall them in Ferguson and Baltimore. #OregonUnderAttack
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 3, 2016
#OregonUnderAttack no sign of National Guard anywhere when armed radical insurgents hold a building. But they were present during Ferguson.
— Anonymous (@LatestAnonNews) January 3, 2016
— Johnny Roque (@johnnyroque) January 3, 2016
This retired United States Airforce Colonel summed it up nicely.
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) January 3, 2016
Before posting this interesting infographic highlighting who the biggest threat to America is (clue: it’s not Muslims).
White supremacists pose the greatest terror threat to Americans. Not Muslims. This is the reality. Time to deal with it. #OregonUnderAttack
— Dr. Craig Considine (@CraigCons) January 3, 2016
The group have since stated that they would stay there indefinitely, saying: “We pose no threat to anybody. There is no person that is physically harmed by what we are doing” – although one of the militiamen, Ammon Bundy, said he didn’t rule out using violence if law enforcement tried to remove them from the building, and his brother Ryan told local journalists over the phone that they’re willing to ‘kill or be killed’ for their cause.
I talked to Ryan Bundy on the phone again. He said they're willing to kill and be killed if necessary. #OregonUnderAttack
— Ian Kullgren (@IanKullgren) January 3, 2016
According to The Independent, Ammon Bundy said the building they’ve taken over represents the ‘tyranny’ of central government control, declaring the occupation was the start of a separatist movement.
A local resident recorded him saying the building would become a ‘base’ for the militia, that the occupation would go for at least ‘several years’, and that they planned to make a nearby fire station part of their base.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy are the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who became poster boy for anti-government resentment in 2014, after he had a standoff with agents from the Bureau of Land Management who tried to confiscate his cattle.